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Tuesday, April 11, 2006
The Meaningless Poll Results Are In ...
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax has released the results of its unscientific, meaningless, opt-in poll on Katie Couric's ascension to CBS anchor, and to nobody's surprise, the vast majority of people who took part oppose it.

To illustrate the highly unrepresentative views expressed in the poll: Given the choice between Couric, Bill O'Reilly and Lou Dobbs as as anchor, 59 percent chose O'Reilly.

Nowhere in this article does NewsMax point out that the results are unscientific and therefore meaningless.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:11 PM EDT
Monday, April 10, 2006
WND Resumes Olmert Smears
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Aaron Klein resumed his Olmert-bashing ways in an April 10 WorldNetDaily article with an unusual progressive bent for the normally free-market WND: Klein repeats a claim from the Israeli edition of Forbes that "twelve business groups control more than 60 percent of Israel's economy," adding: "The U.S. largely eliminated this style of privatized influence nearly 80 years ago."

WND is endorsing FDR? Does it really want a breakup of those companies in the interest of economical opportunity?

Of course not. WND and Klein have no interest in advancing progressive politics; the only reason Klein raises the issue is becuase "the groups all have given campaign contributions to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and foundations associated with his ruling Kadima party." Oddly, Klein never actually names any of these companies or what they do, repeating only the names of the company principals he apparently found here.

Posted by Terry K. at 9:36 PM EDT
NewsBusters Embraces Error-Ridden Editorial
Topic: NewsBusters
In an April 9 NewsBusters post, Noel Sheppard is giddy that the Washington Post wrote an editorial supporting President Bush and the leak of classified information that he authorized -- ignoring that the Post used several false claims to support its view.

Sheppard also claims that the editorial is "a bold and almost unprecedented demonstration of support for President George W. Bush by one of America’s leading liberal newspapers." In fact, the Post editorial page has generally supported Bush, particularly his actions leading up the Iraq war, to the point that Salon called it "one of President Bush's most valuable allies."

Sheppard might want to stop relying on antique liberal-media canards and conservative dogma on Bush and attempt some actual research.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:02 PM EDT
More Evil Marketing from Kupelian
Topic: WorldNetDaily
In an April 10 WorldNetDaily commentary, David Kupelian becomes a shill for the Bush administration under the guise of telling why politicians lie. And the "Marketing of Evil" author does a fair bit of selective citing and makes at least one false claim to show his Bush love.

Even though all of the evidence has not been released surrounding President Bush's declassification of information that was leaked by ex-vice presidential chief of staff Scooter Libby to a New York Times reporter, Kupelian nevertheless claims that "[i]n reality, as everyone knows, Bush did nothing whatsoever wrong." While, as Kupelian wrote, "the president of the United States has the power and the right to declassify U.S. government information," we still lack information as to whether Bush followed proper procedures in declassifying that particular information, especially given that its release was part of a "concerted action" by the Bush White House to "discredit, punish or seek revenge against" Joseph Wilson, who had criticized the administration's rationale for war.

Kupelian also falsely claimed that "The Democrats who are now claiming Bush lied had access to essentially the same intelligence the president did," and they are involved in "a flagrant attempt at rewriting history. That involves lying." That is not true; in several instances, Democratic congressmen did not have access to same full range of intelligence that the White House did.

Kupelian also quoted a column by Michael Barone that falsely suggested that the Robb-Silberman commission cleared the Bush administration of the charged that it "cherry-picked" intelligence to make its case for war. In fact, the commission never examined the issue of how the administration used prewar intelligence.

If Kupelian is so interested in exposing the "big lie" technique, he might want to start closer to home -- like his WorldNetDaily offices, where his boss, Joseph Farah, claims that WND has the "highest ethical standards" (which include plagiarism, false articles, biased reporting and association with untrustworthy convicted felons) and "a commitment to exposing corruption, fraud, waste and abuse wherever it is found – no matter who the perpetrator" despite the fact that it has essentially ignored corruption by Republicans.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:01 PM EDT
Sunday, April 9, 2006
Where Are ConWeb Reports on Blackwell Stock Hypocrisy?
Topic: WorldNetDaily
Last fall, both NewsMax and WorldNetDaily made a big deal out of repeating a book's claims that Michael Moore is a hypocrite because he allegedly owns stock in Halliburton (the stock is actually owned by his nonprofit foundation). But neither NewsMax nor WND have reported on the stock holdings of conservative icon Ken Blackwell, which appear to be even more hypocritical.

As the Columbus Dispatch reports, Blackwell -- who is currently running for Ohio governor -- owned stock in voting-machine maker Diebold while he, as Ohio secretary of state, was negotiating a state contract with the company. Also sure to set off warning bells with his conservative base: Blackwell also owns stock in International Game Technology, the world's largest manufacturer of slot machines (though he claims to oppose proposals in Ohio to allow slot machines at the state's horse-racing tracks), and Barr Pharmaceuticals, maker of the controversial Plan B morning-after pill.

Well, at least they would set of warning bells if NewsMax and WND would bother to report it. But WND's publishing a book by Blackwell, and like with its "news" coverage of fellow author Katherine Harris, bad news about its authors is not permitted on its site.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:26 PM EDT
Saturday, April 8, 2006
When Conflict Resolution Fails
Topic: NewsBusters
A debate occurred on the April 8 "Fox & Friends Weekend" between token WorldNetDaily liberal Ellen Ratner and conservative Newsday columnist Jim Pinkerton over the relevance of the news that President Bush authorized the leak of information from a National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iraq, which ex-vice presidential chief of staff "Scooter" Libby then passed along to the New York Times, to the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame, Pinkerton proposed a solution: "Ellen, we'll let sort this out."

Which NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein attempts in an April 7 post -- and fails. He cites NBC's Kelly O'Donnell as the voice of reason (it's usually a bad sign when the anti-MSM folks cite the MSM as evidence) as saying, "It's important to point out Libby and senior White House officials say that nowhere in these documents does it suggest that the president told Libby to release the name of Valerie Plame."

A much more accurate way to resolve this would be to go to the source (via Media Matters): the legal documents filed by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald in which the Bush leak link was first disclosed. Under a heading called From a section titled "The Relevance of the NIE to This Case":

Defendant [Libby] understood that the Vice President specifically selected him to talk to the press about the NIE and [former U.S. Ambassador and Plame's husband] Mr. [Joseph C.] Wilson [IV] on July 12, 2003, in place of then-Assistant to the President for Public Affairs, Cathie Martin, the usual press contact person from OVP [Office of the Vice President]. This is relevant to show the importance that defendant and his boss placed on the conversation concerning which he later testified. During his conversations with the press that day, defendant discussed Ms. Wilson's CIA employment with both [Time magazine's] Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time). Thus, there is no way to present the relevant events concerning defendant's discussions with reporters about Ms. Wilson without discussing defendant's role in disseminating the key judgments of the NIE in those same conversations.

So it's not unrelated, despite what Finkelstein and Pinkerton suggests. Ratner should have made a counter-offer: "Jim, let Media Matters sort this out."

P.S. NewsMax similarly falsely claimed that "the so-called leak authorized by Bush had nothing to do with Plame - but instead covered Iraq war intelligence that was mostly already in the public domain." If the material that Libby leaked was "already in the public domain," why did Bush have to declassify it?

Posted by Terry K. at 9:40 AM EDT
Wishful Thinking Photo Caption of the Day
Topic: Newsmax
From NewsMax's front page on Friday night:

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 AM EDT
Friday, April 7, 2006
Update: We're Lame
Topic: NewsBusters
In the comment thread on his NewsBusters post about Chris Matthews speaking to a "gay-left lobbying group," Tim Graham reposts (but does not link to) much of our post noting that Matthews has also spoken before conservative-leaning groups. Graham comments that "One lefty tried out this lame line," but he does not rebut our claim that the MRC ignores Matthews' conservative leanings.

Let's see ... offering up evidence vs. not addressing said evidence and dismissing it with a flip remark. Who's the lame one here? (Hint: We're pretty sure it isn't us.)

P.S.: We'd also like to add that our criticism of conservatives for not telling the whole story does not ipso facto make us "lefty."

Posted by Terry K. at 7:50 PM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 7, 2006 8:03 PM EDT
WND's Journalistic Ethics Continue to Plummet
Topic: WorldNetDaily
An April 6 WorldNetDaily "news" article by David Bradshaw on record high gold prices quotes Swiss America Trading Corp. CEO Craig R. Smith -- actually, the only person quoted in the story -- without disclosing that Smith is a WND columnist and that Swiss America is not only a WND advertiser but a partner in WND's BizNetDaily site. The article also links to an "extensive free online library of resources" by Smith and Swiss America.

In other words, this so-called "news" article is an ad for Swiss America, though it is not labeled as such.

One other clue to the bogus-news nature of this article: David Bradshaw, the author, is the editor of Real Money Perspectives, a publication of -- that's right -- Swiss America Trading Corp., as well as the name under which BizNetDaily is co-branded. Bradshaw works for Craig Smith, the sole subject of his story.

This, ladies in gentlemen, is WND's "highest editorial standards and practices" in action.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:31 PM EDT
Conservative Matthews Ignored Again
Topic: NewsBusters
In an April 7 NewsBusters post, Tim Graham cites as evidence of Chris Matthews' alleged liberal bias that Matthews spoke at a fundraiser for "the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-left lobbying group." But Graham ignores the fact that Matthews has spoken to conservative-leaning groups as well.

Matthews is reported to have accepted speaking fees to appear before The National Venture Capital Association, The National Association of Chain Drug Stores, and The American Hospital Association -- all trade groups whose PACs have given the majority of their donations to Republicans.

This is yet another example of how the Media Research Center plays up evidence that Matthews is liberal while ignoring evidence of his conservative tendencies.

Posted by Terry K. at 3:01 PM EDT
Joseph Farah, Conspiracy Theorist
Topic: WorldNetDaily
WorldNetDaily slides into some serious conspiracy theorizing, declaring on a radio show not only that there are 20 million to 30 million "illegals" in the U.S. (without offering any evidence to back it up; most reliable figures put the number at around 12 million) but also that the "one-worlders" of the Council on Foreign Relations have a plan to merge the United States, Mexico, and Canada by 2010 and that President Bush's proposed guest worker program is part of this plan. Uh, yeah. (Full disclosure: I co-wrote this item for Media Matters.)

Posted by Terry K. at 1:30 PM EDT
Thursday, April 6, 2006
ConWeb Unites on Vieira Smear
Topic: NewsBusters
Both NewsMax and WorldNetDaily picked up on NewsBusters' attack on Meredith Vieira, who will replace Katie Couric on NBC's "Today."

Branding her an "anti-war liberal," NewsBusters' Brent Baker repeated Vieira's claim about the Iraq war that “Everything’s been built on lies. Everything! I mean the entire pre-text for war.” Rather than proving Vieira wrong, Baker branded her words a "vicious charge, which matches the most virulent hate speech of the far left" -- a claim NewsMax repeated as fact, ignoring the actual fact that it's merely Baker's overheated opinion.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:31 PM EDT
Selective Softball Outrage
Topic: NewsBusters
So Mark Finkelstein does care about Chris Matthews' softball interviews after all. Well, some, anyway.

An April 6 NewsBusters post shows Finkelstein in high dudgeon over about a Matthews interview with John Kerry that was "all slow-pitch softball." But Finkelstein still has shown no similar outrage over the softball-laden interview Matthews did with Tom DeLay.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:22 PM EDT
Somebody's Got Issues
Topic: NewsBusters
In an April 6 NewsBusters post, Michael Rule spends way too much time obsessing of CBS host Harry Smith's alleged lack of masculinity.

In the post, headlined "Harry Smith Giddy as a Feminist Over Couric Joining CBS," Rule wrote that Smith narrated "a piece that was so laden with praise, it could have been mistaken for a eulogy." Rule then claimed that Smith's welcoming of Couric as CBS Evening News anchor "echoed that of Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization for Women," adding that "Bernard Goldberg, in his book Bias described Harry Smith as a man-loathing feminist." Rule concluded by noting: "It may be Harry Smith’s feminism that overpowers him with joy over the fact that Katie Couric is coming to his network."

Um, Michael, is there something you need to bring up with your therapist?

Posted by Terry K. at 1:33 PM EDT
FrontPage Bottom-Feeds for Clinton Dirt
Topic: Horowitz
How desperate are the Horowitz folks to feel that Clinton-bashing rush they're so addicted to? They're promoting Melrose Larry Green.

Green, you see, has written the "Snakes On A Plane" of anti-Clinton tomes, "Why The Clintons Belong in Prison." And FrontPageMag managing editor Jamie Glazov treats him quite seriously, even as he makes Norman Liebmann (who, like Green, used to write for NewsMax) sound reasonable.

UPDATE: World O'Crap offers its take on Melrose Larry, reminding us that he is a "Los Angeles nut known for spending his time standing on Melrose Avenue holding signs, was formerly one of freaks who made up Howard Stern's 'Wack Pack.'" Which, of course, makes him the perfect spokesman for the Clinton-haters. David Horowitz must be proud to be associated with him.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:38 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 6, 2006 11:06 AM EDT

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